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ss triple helix - summer 2009,  Self Harm

Self Harm

The Path to Recovery
Kate Middleton and Sara Garvie
Lion Hudson 2008
£7.99 Pb 144pp
ISBN 978 0 74595 319 9

This is a self help book which is practical and uses real life examples to good effect. The first section addresses 'What is self harm and how does it develop?' The authors explain the role of emotions and explain why some people deal with intense emotions by self harming. They emphasise that the first step towards recovery for the person who self harms is actually to want to be helped.

They recommend that the person should consult the GP and constructively discuss topics which can usefully be raised by the patient with the GP at this consultation. The second section of the book is called 'Recovering from self harm'. The authors explain the unhelpful reactions to strong emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, and sadness, and how these emotions can be managed effectively. The third section is 'For those caring for sufferers', where the importance of carers and the common mistakes they may make are discussed.

This is a book aimed at patients who self harm and their carers. There is minimal reference to the broader medical literature, and there is no discussion of a Christian perspective on the issue of self harm, but this book should prove useful for both patients and their carers.

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